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International Conference on Asphalt and Traffic

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2016 Executive Summit Guests

By Invitation Only


2016 Executive Summit Guests



Mohamed Abou Eldahab, Ambassador, Consulate General of Egypt

Amir Al-Khafaji, Executive Director, Bradley University

Laith Al-Khafaji, Manager, CGN Global

Jim Ardis, Executive Director of Strategic Development, CGN Global

Catherine Batey , Division Administrator, Federal Highway Administration

Wayne Baum, Chairman of the Board, CORE Construction

James Bishop, Chairman and CEO, HW Lochner

Randy Blankenhorn, Secretary, Illinois Department of Transportation

Jamil Bou-Saab, Senior Vice President, Terra Engineering, LTD

Kevin Burgard, Director, ADM Logistics- Archer Daniels Midland Company

Kevin Burke, Executive Vice President, Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association

David Campbell, Managing Director, Cross Island Development, LLC

Matt Chiller, Senior Federal Governmental Affairs Director, CH2M HILL

James Clair, Deputy Operations Manager & Project Executive, Turner Construction Company

John Cullerton, Illinois Senate President, State of Illinois

Ahmed Darwish, Chairman, General Authority for Suez Economic Zone

Stephen Fort, President, Turner Construction of Canada

Daniel Gallagher, Vice President, Gallagher Asphalt Corporation

Jodi Golden, Executive Director, Illinois Capital Development Board

Jay Hansen, Executive Vice President, National Asphalt Pavement Association

Michael Kleinik, Executive Director, Labor-Management Cooperation Committee (LMCC)

David Koehler, State Senator -- 46th District, State of Illinois

Kristi Lafleur, Chief Operating Officer, City of Chicago

Dennis Larson, Executive Vice President, Central Illinois Builders of AGC

John Lynch, Vice President, Iroquois Paving Corporation

Gary Manier, Mayor, City of Washington

Dan Meckes, Chairman and CEO, Crawford, Murphy & Tilly Inc.

Les Melhorne, Vice President, CH2M HILL

Stanley Moore, Commissioner and Vice Chair, Cook County Committee on Roads & Bridges

Tracy Morse, President, Images Inc.

Omer Osman, Deputy Secretary, Illinois Department of Transportation

Aaron Ozinga, President , Ozinga Materials, Inc.

Lidia Pilecky, Vice President, CH2M HILL

Chandra Prassad, President, Omega & Associates

Jon Pyatt, Chief of Staff, Representative Cheri Bustos

Christine Reed, Senior Vice President, Knight E/A, Inc.

Abdel Nasser Refae, Deputy Chairman, Egytian Government

Nabil Refai, Vice President, Diversified Services Network, Inc.

Justine Reisinger, Deputy Chief of Staff, Illinois Department of Transportation

Kim Robinson, Executive Director, Illinois Construction Industry Committee

Joseph Savala, Senior Vice President, OSF Healthcare

Deborah Sawyer, Chairman, Environmental Design International, Inc.

Leslie Sawyer, CEO, Environmental Design International, Inc.

Kerrie Schattler, Professor, Bradley University

Robert Schillerstrom, Chairman, Illinois Tollway Board

Simon Shaer, Chairman, Chaer Bros. Co. S.A.R.L.

Moustafa Shaikhon, Commercial Consul, Consulate General of Egypt

Scott Sigman, Transportation & Export Infrastructure Lead, Illinois Soybean Association

Kurt Summers, Treasurer, City of Chicago

Cherryl Thomas, President and CEO, Ardmore Associates

Rusty Tobey, President, AGCI

John Trotta, Senior Vice President, Parsons Brinckerhoff

David Williams, President, Williams Brothers Construction Inc.

John Yonan, Superintendent, Cook County Depart. of Transp & Highways

Kevin Zesch, Senior Vice President, Lend Lease


The Honorable John J. Cullerton, Senator and Illinois Senate President

On January 14, 2009, State Senator John Cullerton was inaugurated to his first two-year term as President of the Illinois Senate. As a lawmaker, Sen. Cullerton was an early national leader on strengthening child safety laws, passing the state’s Child Passenger Safety Act, and Illinois laws requiring that seatbelts be worn by all front seat passengers. He pushed for increased requirements for young drivers to ensure safer Illinois roads. He worked on the reform bill for the statewide indoor smoking ban to make sure all communities had the ability to ensure compliance. Senator Cullerton has won numerous prestigious awards including: "Buckle Up America Award"; “Highway Safety Hero”, “Legislator of the Year” award and others.

Dr. Amir Al-Khafaji, Founder and Chair

Dr. Amir Al-Khafaji is the Executive Director of the Center for Emerging Technologies in Infrastructure, responsible for the Innovations Conference in Asphalt and Transportation and the International Construction Innovations Conference.  He is the recipient of numerous leadership awards including the 2006 "Man of the Year" Award from the Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association. He is also the only recipient in Bradley’s history of all three University excellence awards in Teaching, Scholarship and Public Service. Dr. Al-Khafaji earned his BSCE and MSCE from Wayne State University, and an MSCE and PhD from Michigan State University.  He serves the Easter Seals, W.D. Boyce Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Muscular Dystrophy Association, A Safe Haven Foundation, and the Illinois State Black Chamber of Commerce.


The Honorable Jim Ardis, Mayor, City of Peoria

Jim Ardis has served as the Mayor of the City of Peoria for two consecutive terms. Prior, he had served the City in many ways including over 10 years on the Peoria City Council. He believes that public service is a noble calling and is an honor the voters entrust him with this office. With a population of 114,000 citizens, the City of Peoria is the urban hub of an exciting and beautiful region, blessed with an abundance of qualified and skilled human resources and rich natural assets. Mayor Ardis earned a B.S in Industrial Technology from Illinois State University. His Community involvement includes St. Vincent de Paul Parish, St. Jude Memphis to Peoria Runner (15 years), Board President of the Tim Ardis Foundation for Hope, Member of the St. Jude Midwest Affiliate Board of Directors, and Founder of Peoria Promise.


Simon Shaer, President, Cedar Hills Construction & Development Co.

Mr. Shaer is a major developer and manages the largest metal recycling company in Saudi Arabia, CBC International. He is the President of Cedar Hills Construction and Development Company, and owns and operates business in Egypt, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.  Mr. Shaer earned a BS degree from Oregon State University, a Business Management degree and a diploma in Gemology from the Gemological Institute of America in Santa Monica, California.  In 1982, he established a recycling metal company, CBC Metal International, in Jeddah Saudi Arabia.  He formed CBC International Development and Construction Co. in Beirut, Lebanon in 1990 and has developed many high rise residential and commercial buildings. This company is one of the leading companies in Lebanon in the development and construction business. 


Bryan Nicol, JD, Senior Vice President, Transportation Business Group, CH2M HILL

Mr. Nicol serves as Sr. VP of CH2M HILL’s Transportation Business Group. He was also the former President of AASHTO. He has 22 years of experience in the public and private transportation field, working on a variety of special projects and programs related to local, state and federal matters. Mr. Nicol’s expertise is in planning, program management, and construction of major highway and bridge projects in urban environments, with a special focus on innovative project delivery and operations. As a former Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of Operations at the Indiana Department of Transportation, he possesses large program experience covering all modes of transportation and design-build delivery, including innovative sustainability practices.


Ahmed Darwish, Chairman, General Authority for Suez Economic Zone

Dr. Ahmed M. Darwish is the Chairman of the general authority for the Suez Canal economic zone.  His previous public occupation was the Minister of State for Administration Development in Egypt, and also a Professor at Cairo University.   Dr. Darwish was a consultant to a number of international organizations (UNDP, UNIDO, UNESCO, FAO, ESCWA, European Union and World Bank), government organizations and companies in Egypt, Middle East, Africa, Europe and United States.  He earned his B.Sc. in Electronics and Communication Engineering and M.Sc. in Computer Engineering from Cairo University, and his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of California, Davis. He received the Egyptian National Engineering Award for the year 1999.


Ambassador Mohamed Aboueldahab, Consul General, Consulate General of Egypt in Chicago

Ambassador Mohamed Aboueldahab is currently the Consul General to the Consulate General of Egypt in Chicago.  Prior to this, he served in foreign affairs roles including Deputy Assistant Foreign Minister for Administrative Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs at various political, administrative and financial departments, Ambassador to Uruguay and Paraguay, and Appointed Attaché to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  He also went on missions to Dublin, Dubai and Washington D.C.  He earned his BA in Political Science from the American University in Cairo and also earned a M. Phil. in International Relations from the University of Cambridge. 

  Abdul Nasser Refae, Chairman Deputy, General Authority for Suez Economic Zone
Brian Oszakiewski, Policy Adviser for Infrastructure, Office of the Governor

Brian Oszakiewski served eight years advising Congressman Dan Lipinski on all rail, highway, aviation, freight, waterways, public transportation and other issues before the U.S. House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. He was Representative Lipinski's Legislative Director, managing the congressman's legislative staff to formulate and implement his agenda. Brian most recently worked for the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, an organization that represents aircraft, engine, avionics and other aviation-related manufacturers and service providers. A native of Chicagoland, Brian holds a bachelor's degree from Creighton University and a master's from Johns Hopkins University.


Randy Blankenhorn, Secretary, Illinois Department of Transportation

Randall S. Blankenhorn was appointed Illinois Transportation Secretary by Governor Bruce Rauner. As head of the Illinois Department of Transportation, he leads an agency of 13 offices and divisions that serve the transportation needs of Illinois across multiple modes, in rural, suburban and urban environments. At IDOT, Blankenhorn oversees a $2.8 billion operating budget that supports a work force of 5,200 employees, with annual oversight of more than $3.2 billion in capital projects.  Prior to his appointment, Blankenhorn was the executive director of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, leading that agency since its inception in 2006. At CMAP, Blankenhorn oversaw transportation, land use, housing, economic development, environmental and other quality-of-life issues in the seven-county region of Northeastern Illinois.


Robert Schillerstrom, Chairman, Illinois Tollway Board

Chairman Bob Schillerstrom is a partner in Ice Miller's Public Affairs Group. He has more than 30 years of experience counseling clients on matters relating to local and state governments, including community relations, public affairs and strategic public policy development, as well as real estate tax appeals issues and zoning related matters. He previously served three terms as chairman of the DuPage County Board. He earned a reputation for reducing property taxes, lowering county property taxes nine out of 12 years and consistently doing more for DuPage County taxpayers with less money. He has been an active figure in DuPage County politics for three decades. He earned his bachelor's degree at Illinois College and his law degree at Chicago-Kent College of Law.

Kurt Summers, Treasurer, City of Chicago

As Chicago’s newest City Treasurer, Kurt Summers is the steward of the city’s $7 billion dollar investment portfolio and is responsible for maintaining records and accounts of the city’s finances while ensuring transparency and accountability for all transactions. Treasurer Summers also serves as an advocate to empower young people, workers and small business owners, as well as programs that promote economic growth and financial education. The Treasurer sits on five local pension boards with nearly $25 billion under management. Summers began his career at McKinsey & Company, a preeminent global strategy-consulting firm. Most recently, Summers served as a Senior Vice President at Grosvenor Capital Management and a member of the Office of the Chairman.

The Honorable Gary Manier, Mayor, City of Washington, Illinois

Mr. Gary Manier is the Mayor of the City of Washington, Illinois.  Over the past decade, Washington has been among the fastest growing communities in central Illinois: 1,500 new housing starts, new commercial construction totaling about 900,000 square feet, and a 40% growth in population. In 2013, tornadoes devastated the City of Washington, destroying 1,000 buildings and killed three people.  Mayor Manier was instrumental in rebuilding much of the Washington community in just over a year

The Honorable Senator Martin Sandoval, Chairman, IL Transportation Committee

In January 2009, Sandoval was appointed to serve as the Chairman of the Transportation Committee. He focused on developing High Speed Rail in Illinois, passing legislation to prohibit people from texting while driving, and banning the use of cell phones in work zones. Sandoval was instrumental in bringing parties from all four caucuses together to pass a capital construction budget. Throughout his tenure in the Senate, Sandoval has also been a champion of both elementary and higher education. Sandoval also served as a member of the Appropriations II, Energy, and Licensed Activities Committees. Sandoval’s career has included appointments to the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs, and ten years at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He was also a leader in various federal labor unions.


The Honorable Pamela J. Althoff, Senator, 32nd District, State of Illinois

Senator Pamela J. Althoff has served as a member of the Illinois State Senate since March 2003. She has championed legislation to increase open space, expand the agricultural industry and promote improved statewide economic growth. In the Senate, she serves as the Senate Republican Caucus Chair as a part of the Senate Republican Leadership.  Sen. Althoff is the Minority Spokeswoman for the Revenue Committee, and also serves on the Appropriations II, Assignments, Executive Appointments, Labor, Licensed Activities & Pensions and Transportation Committees.  She is also the appointed “Past President” of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). 

The Honorable David Koehler, 46th District Senator, Illinois State Senate

Senator David Koehler has served as State Senator of the 46th District in Illinois since December 2006.  He has served on a variety of committees including Local Government (Vice-Chairperson); Appropriations II; Commerce and Economic Development; Transportation.  He was born and raised in South Dakota. He received Bachelor of Arts degree in 1971 from Yankton College in South Dakota, and a Masters of Divinity from the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. Formerly he served as staff member for the National Farm Worker Ministry (NFWM), Community organizer and program manager for the Peoria Friendship House, Executive Director of the Peoria Area Labor Management Council (PALM), President for Labor Management Cooperative Health Programs, Inc., and Member of Peoria City Council from 1982 to 1997.


The Honorable Karen McConnaughay, Minority Spokesperson, IL State Senate

Senator Karen McConnaughay is the Republican spokesperson for the Senate Transportation Committee, and also serves as a member on the Senate Appropriations, Education, Energy and Financial Institutions Committees.  Prior to her election to the Illinois State Senate, Karen McConnaughay served as the County Board Chairman of Kane County from 2004-2012 where she achieved remarkable success in lowering spending and reducing the size of government while bolstering accountability, efficiency and transparency.  A member of the Executive Committee for Metropolis 2020 and former Chair to the Northeastern Illinois Regional Water Supply Planning Group of The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, Senator McConnaughay has worked with local, state and federal officials to improve the management of transportation. 


The Honorable Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth, Illinois State Representative, 92nd District

State Representative Jehan Gordon is a full-time state legislator serving the 92nd district in Illinois. Some of Rep. Gordon’s Committee assignments include Access to Federal Funding, Appropriations for Elementary & Secondary Education, Appropriations for Human Services, Health & Healthcare Disparities, Infrastructure, Veterans' Affairs, and Education Reform. Prior to taking office as State Representative, Gordon served as a board member of the Pleasant Hill District 69 School and Friends of People with AIDS, Junior Achievement of Central Illinois and the chair of Peoria Promise. She previously worked at Bradley University’s Small Business Development Center,Illinois Central College, and at AmeriCorps VISTA. Rep. Gordon earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


The Honorable Chuck Weaver, 37th District Senator,  State of Illinois

Senator Weaver is a state senator for the 37th district in Illinois.  Some of his committee assignments include licensed activities and pensions; judiciary; criminal law; commerce and economic development (Minority Spokesperson). Senator Weaver received his bachelor's degree from Bradley University, and his J.D. degree from DePaul University College of Law.  He is business entrepreneur and philanthropist, and was a former Peoria City Council member.


Mostafa Shaikhon,  Consul for Economic & Commercial Affairs, Consulate General of Egypt in Chicago

Mostafa Shaikhon is currently the Consul for Economic & Commercial Affairs to the Consulate General of Egypt in Chicago.  Mr. Shaikhon has been in the commercial diplomacy service for 16 years. He has served as a vice consul of economic and commercial affairs in Sydney, Australia and New York, USA and currently he is the consul for economic & commercial affairs of Egypt in Chicago.   Before joining the diplomatic career, he was a financial analyst in Delloit & Touch – Egypt. Mr. Shaikhon holds MBA from ESLSCA Business School and he's married and has two children. 


Matthew Magalis, Chief of Staff, Illinois Department of Transportation



Greg Bedalov, Executive Director, Illinois Tollway

Greg Bedalov was appointed Executive Director by the Illinois Tollway Board of Directors in June 2015. Bedalov is responsible for managing the agency's day-to-day operations, overseeing its $1.02 billion annual budget and leading the nearly 1,600 employees in providing a safe, effective and efficient toll highway system.  Bedalov previously served as the President and CEO of Choose DuPage, overseeing the organization responsible for leading their economic development efforts. Bedalov was also the President of the Downers Grove Economic Development Corporation, and was also the director of global business development and North American sales and marketing for Pulsafeeder.


Ms. Catherine Batey, Chief Administrator, Illinois- Federal Highway Administration

In July 2013, Ms. Batey became the Division Administrator for the Illinois Division in Springfield. She heads an office of 33 professionals that delivers the Federal-aid Highway Program in Illinois. Prior to the appointment, Kay was the Assistant Division Administrator in the Alabama Division for 11 years. Kay has worked for the Federal Highway Administration since 1987 and has served in a number of positions throughout the US. She instructs the National Highway Institute Federal-aid Highway 101 course. Kay received a Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Tennessee and a Bachelor Degree in Biology and Chemistry also from the University of Tennessee.


Jodi Golden, Executive Director, Illinois Capital Development Board

Jodi Golden is the executive director and chief of staff of the Illinois Capital Development Board, the construction-management agency responsible for overseeing state construction and renovation projects.  Prior to this appointment, she had been chief of staff at the CDB.  Ms. Golden had worked in Indiana state government for almost a decade in the state’s treasurer’s office and was the deputy director of the Indiana Education Savings Authority, where she administered and promoted the 529 College Savings Plan.  She returned to Illinois to work with the administration of Governor Bruce Rauner.  Ms. Golden earned her bachelor’s and master’s degree from Southern Illinois University- Carbondale with backgrounds in finance and public administration.


Omer Osman, Deputy Secretary of Transportation, IDOT

Omer Osman was recently appointed as the Deputy Secretary of Transportation of IDOT. In this position, as a part of the Office of the Secretary, he works closely with the Office of the Governor and the Illinois General Assembly to effectively and efficiently establish and implement Illinois’ transportation policies. Prior to this position Mr. Osman was the Director and Chief Engineer of IDOT Division of Highways. He also served as the chair of the Qualification Based Selection Committee. Mr. Osman is a graduate of Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1989 with a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering. He has an MS in Construction Mgt. from Bradley University. Mr. Osman is a registered Professional Engineer in Illinois.

Stanley Moore, 4th District Commissioner, Cook County Board

On April 11, 2013, Stanley Moore was appointed as the Cook County Commissioner of the 4th District. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Moore developed a successful career as a public servant that includes invaluable experience in the public, private, and philanthropic sectors. His experience as a current business owner, and former executive with government and charitable organizations, makes him uniquely qualified as a community leader.  As current restaurant owner, Stanley Moore oversees all operational and management functions for his company. He takes pride in hiring residents from the local community and has been instrumental in utilizing his business as a catalyst for economic development.


Kevin Burgard, Director of Logistics, ADM

Mr. Burgard is the Director of Logistics at ADM.  He joined the the Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) company in 1986 and has held various management positions both domestically and internationally. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural business and an MBA from Western Illinois University. He will report to Scott Fredericksen, President-North American Oilseed Processing division.


Ginger Evans, Commissioner, Chicago Department of Aviation, City of Chicago

Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) Commissioner Ginger S. Evans manages one of the world’s busiest airport systems comprised of O’Hare and Midway International Airports.  Evans has 30 years of aviation experience. She joined the CDA in June 2015 after serving as Vice President of Engineering for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) in Washington, D.C. She has overseen major projects at Reagan National and Dulles, as well as the new Silver Line Metrorail extension. Prior to her role as Vice President at MWAA, Evans worked in private consulting on major aviation projects in Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America and rail projects in New York and Washington. Prior to this, she served as Director of Aviation for Denver International Airport.

Dennis Larson, Executive Vice President , Central Illinois Builders of AGC

Dennis has been with Central Illinois Builders since 1985, serving as Executive Vice President since 1991. Prior to that, he was with the State of Illinois Capitol Development Board. Dennis is responsible for the overall operation and daily affairs of the association. In this capacity he serves on several industry and educational advisory boards and committees. Dennis holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from University of Missouri-Rolla and is a registered professional engineer. He currently serves as a member of the Civil Engineering and Construction Advisory Board at Bradley University. 


Stephen Fort, President, Turner Construction of Canada

Stephen Fort's career with Turner began in 1999 after seven years as an officer in the United States Navy. He has served in many capacities including Vice President and General Manager of Turner’s Chicago office and Senior Vice President of its Great Lakes Region. Currently he is responsible for overall leadership and management of Turner’s Canadian subsidiary, Canadian Turner Construction Company. In 2009 Steve was profiled as one of Building Design and Construction magazine’s 40 under 40. Under Steve’s leadership, Turner’s Canadian operations complete annual construction revenue of $800M with nearly 1,500 employees in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Colombia, and Yellow Knife, NWT. Steve graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering.


Scott Kopton , General Manager, Maintenance of Traffic, Illinois Tollway

Scott Kopton is the General Manger of maintenance of Traffic for the Illinois Tollway.  The Illinois Tollway is dedicated to providing and promoting a safe and efficient system of highways while ensuring the highest possible level of service to our customers. Whether it's I-PASS, the Move Illinois Program, open road tolling or keeping you safe with our H.E.L.P. trucks, we are committed to delivering great benefits and services to customers.  The Illinois Tollway is a revenue bond-financed administrative agency of the State of Illinois. Operations are funded by toll and concession revenues. The Illinois Tollway is a user-fee system that receives no state or federal funds for maintenance and operations.


Jay Hansen, Executive Vice President, National Asphalt Pavement Association

Jay Hansen joined NAPA in November 1998 as VP for Government Affairs after more than 12 years working in the U.S. Congress and two years as the senior transportation lobbyist for the American Consulting Engineers Council (ACEC).  Jay has led the asphalt industry’s efforts to enact legislation in Congress that provides growing, predictable, multi-year highway funding, defeated harmful pavement design and pavement-type selection mandates, and secured asphalt pavement research and deployment funding.  Jay was also involved in the construction of an asphalt pavement exhibit at the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC. On November 2011, Jay was named NAPA’s Executive Vice President with responsibility over NAPA’s gov't and regulatory affairs, and NAPA’s membership programs.    


Mr. Wayne Baum, Chairman of the Board, CORE Construction

Mr. Wayne Baum is Chairman of the Board of CORE Construction. As a life-long resident of the Peoria area, Mr. Baum has served on the boards of several business and civic organizations throughout central Illinois including: chairman of the Advisory Board for the Department of Civil Engineering and Construction, member of the Board of Trustees at Bradley University, past chairman, board of trustees, Progressive Health Systems; past chairman, board of trustees, Pekin Hospital; member, board of trustees, Eureka College; member, advisory board, Union Planters Bank; 2nd vice chairman, board of trustees, Easter Seals/UCP; and member, advisory board, Central IL Memorial Kidney Fund. He was also elected to a four-year term serving as a trustee for the Village of Peoria Heights.

Daniel Gallagher, Vice President, Gallagher Asphalt Corporation

As VP and one of the third generation owners, Mr. Gallagher oversees commercial and industrial sales. Founded in 1928 and now in its third generation of family management, Gallagher Asphalt has paved or resurfaced literally thousands and thousands of miles of pavement, under some of the country’s most challenging conditions. With state-of-the-art, high capacity plants strategically positioned in key suburban locations, Gallagher Asphalt effectively and efficiently services commercial and industrial customers throughout more than 3,000 square miles. They are the recipient of National Asphalt Pavement Association’s Diamond Achievement Commendation for Excellence and Quality Award for Dan Ryan Project.

Dan Meckes, CEO, Crawford, Murphy & Tilly

Mr. Meckes became the 5th president to serve in the firm's history in 2007. Since the firm's beginnings in 1946, CMT has enjoyed steady and healthy growth. Geographic expansion, historically the result of growing and promoting their own, has more recently been complemented by strategic acquisitions of firms that share CMT's values and reputation for integrity. The firm, with its 260 employees located in 9 offices through the Midwest, continues to evolve based on the principles of hard work and steady growth instilled by its founders. CMT and its fourth generation of leadership are positioned to address the opportunities and challenges through a strong strategic vision and continued commitment to its clients.

Matt Chiller, Sr. Federal Government Affairs Director/ Vice President for Federal Relations, CH2M HILL

Matt Chiller serves as a Vice President for Federal Relations for CH2M HILL, an employee-owned engineering and operations firm specializing in the infrastructure and energy fields.  In this role, Matt is responsible for pursuing the firm’s diverse federal policy goals before Congress and the Obama Administration, including the promotion of legislation to increase the flow of federal funding to states and clients for infrastructure needs. Prior to his work for CH2M, Matt spent 9 years working in the U.S. House of Representatives in a variety of roles including Legislative Director and Deputy Chief of Staff for multiple Members of Congress in the Florida and California Delegations.  Matt holds a B.A. from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Master of Public Administration from California State University. 


Mr. Jim Bishop, CEO, H.W. Lochner

Mr.  James W. Bishop, P.E., was appointed to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of H.W. Lochner, Inc.  Mr. Bishop, who most recently served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, received the promotion following the retirement of Larry Thomas. Bishop joined Lochner in January of 2008, following a career spanning 30 years, including progressive management positions and hands-on experience encompassing all phases of transportation improvement projects.  Bishop earned his Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Valparaiso University and holds professional engineering licenses in Illinois, Florida and New York. Currently, he is a member of ARTBA, SMPS, ASCE, and ACEC.

Michael Kleinik, Executive Director, Chicago Laborers' District Council, LMCC

Michael D. Kleinik is the Executive Director for the Chicago Laborers’ District Council Labor-Management Cooperation Committee and is a member of Transportation for Illinois Collation where he serves as the Labor Co-Chair. Prior to his current position, he served as the Chief of Staff for the Division of Conciliation with the Illinois Department of Labor,Field Supervisor for Midwest Region Foundation for Fair Contracting, Administrator for Tri-County Detention Center, and Sheriff of Fayette County. His credentials also include being a Registered Lobbyist, Police Sergeant for the City of Vandalia, and Deputy Sheriff of Bond County.  Mr. Kleinik’s education and training includes attending Kaskaskia College from 1976 – 1979. Also has served as a mediator and arbitrator.


Rusty Tobey, President, Associated General Contractors of Illinois (AGCI)

As the only statewide association representing highway, heavy and utility contractors in Illinois, AGCI offers a complete range of programs and services to its contractor and affiliate members, including bid lettings and tabulation services, labor relations services for union members, employment law and guidance for open shop members, safety and loss control programs and services, EEO and DBE services, training, education, proactive governmental affairs (including legislation, rule making and agency practices), joint IDOT/Industry Cooperative Committees, partnering programs, weekly newsletter and special bulletins, quarterly magazine, scholarships, networking opportunities for members at athletic and other events.

Aaron Ozinga, President, Ozinga Material, Inc.

Aaron Ozinga is President of Ozinga Materials Inc. located in Mokena, IL.  Ozinga Materials, Inc. is a full service material and transportation business involved in the production and distribution of aggregates, as well as the handling and distribution of many other bulk materials used in construction and manufacturing.  The company owns and operates mining, truck, rail, river, and port assets concentrated in Illinois and surrounding states and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ozinga Bros, Inc. a 4th generation family owned business.  Aaron is responsible for setting the overall direction and strategy for this company.  He is a business graduate of Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights Illinois. 


John Lynch II, President of IAPA and President and CEO of  Iroquois Paving Corporation

Mr. John Lynch II is the President and CEO of Iroquois Paving Corp (IPC), and is the President of the Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association.  Iroquois Paving Corp is a full-service heavy highway contractor with over eighty years of experience. They provide a high level of construction services at market competitive prices, by paying strict attention to detail, work timeliness and having a service minded attitude. IPC is a strong advocate of keeping the environment clean and utilizes recycled asphalt, concrete, and shingles in the production process. Iroquois Paving Corporation is an award winning contractor recognized by the Illinois Department of Transportation and others.

Kevin Burke III, Executive Vice President, Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association

Kevin Burke is the Executive Vice-President for the Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association (IAPA). The Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association represents most of the hot mix asphalt producers in Illinois. Prior to joining IAPA, Kevin spent 20 years with the Illinois Department of Transportation in the Bureau of Materials & Physical Research and the Bureau of Local Roads & Streets. Kevin graduated from Washington University in St. Louis and is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Illinois.

Kristi Lafleur, Chief Operating Officer, Deputy Treasurer, City of Chicago

As Deputy Treasurer, Chief Operating Officer, Kristi Lafleur oversees the Treasurer’s office day-to-day operations and serve as Treasurer Summers’ senior advisor in implementing key initiatives such as a neighborhood and infrastructure investment plan and a pension fee savings initiative with the potential to save Chicago’s 11 public employee pension funds $25-$50 million a year. Prior to this, Kristi Lafleur served as executive director of the Illinois Tollway and was the first woman to serve in that role in the Tollway’s history. While there, Lafleur was responsible for managing the agency’s day-to-day operations, overseeing its estimated $1.17 billion annual budget and leading nearly 1,600 employees in providing a safe, effective and efficient toll highway system for the Tollway’s 1.5 million daily drivers.

Cherryl T. Thomas, President & CEO, Ardmore Associates, LLC

Cherryl Thomas is President and Chief Executive Officer of Ardmore Associates, a full-service engineering, land surveying, program, project and construction management firm. Prior to her current position, she served as Chairman of the united States Railroad Board, Commissioner of Chicago's Department of Building, Deputy Chief of Staff in Chicago's Office of the Mayor, and various positions within the Chicago Department of Public Works.  She has an honorary Doctorate Degree from Boston College, a Master’s of Science Degree in Physiology from the University of Illinois and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry and Biology from Marquette University. Ms. Thomas enhanced her career by taking engineering courses at the Illinois Institute of Technology as a non-degree student.

David Campbell, President, Cross Island Development

Mr. David Campbell is President of Cross Island Development. Mr. Campbell earned his B.S. in Construction from Bradley University in 1999. Upon his graduation from Bradley University, he joined Clark Construction, LLC ($4.5 billion dollars in annual revenue) and quickly rose to the position of Division Executive with significant decision-making responsibilities. Mr. Campbell is a member of the CEC Advisory Board.

Joseph Savala, Senior Vice President, OSF

Mr. Savala is responsible for providing the strategic vision, leadership, and project direction for all engineering and facility activities at OSF HealthCare, with the goal of providing efficient and effective utilities, equipment systems, facility repair and maintenance operations in the support of patient care services. He leads the facility planning efforts, major construction projects and Real Estate and Property Management Program throughout the OSF HealthCare system.


Deborah Sawyer, President and CEO, Environmental Design International, Inc.

Ms. Sawyer began her career as an Environmental Scientist for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.  Later, she joined a private firm where she rose up the ranks before leaving to start EDI in 1991.  Despite the uncertainties of entrepreneurship in a male-dominated field, EDI has become a regional leader  in civil engineering, land survey, environmental consulting, and industrial hygiene.  Highly experienced in transportation, EDI holds contracts with the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois Tollway, along with municipal and county departments of transportation.  Work in rail, transit, and aviation includes significant roles on projects for the CREATE program.

John Yonan, Superintendent of Highways, Cook County

Mr. John Yonan is the Superintendent of Highways for Cook County.  The Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways was established in 1913 by the State of Illinois upon approval of the first officially recorded County highway system maps. The present day system has evolved to include jurisdictional authority over 557 center line miles of highways. The Department has maintenance responsibilities for 1,474 lane miles of pavement, 130 bridges, 332 traffic signals and 5 pumping stations from five maintenance garages.

Kevin Zesch, Senior Vice President, Lend Lease

Mr. Kevin Zesch is Senior Vice President & General Superintendent at Lend Lease, a world leader in project management and construction, operating in more than 30 countries and 7,500 employees. An award-winning alumnus from Bradley University, he has worked many challenging projects, including the $140 million University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Chicago, and the $61.1 million Sears Integrated Business Headquarters Expansion. He represented Lend Lease at the 2011 Executive Summit and spoke on Public-Private-Partnership at the 2012 Executive Summit.

James Clair, Project Executive, Turner Construction Company

Mr. James Clair is a Project Executive for Turner Construction Company, one of the largest construction companies in the world. Mr. Clair has managed many significant projects, including the Greater Peoria Airport, Downtown Peoria Museum and others. Turner is the leading general builder in the U.S., ranking first or second in the major segments of the building construction field. During 2009, Turner completed $8.2 billion of construction. Turner is the only builder offering clients a nationwide network of offices across the U.S. Founded in 1902, the firm is a subsidiary of HOCHTIEF, a publicly traded company and one of the world's leading international construction service providers. Mr. Clair is a member of the CEC Advisory Board.


Nabil Refai, Vice President, Diversified Services Network (DSN)

Dr. Nabil Refai was born in Cairo, Egypt.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Cairo, Egypt. He came to the U.S. in 1969 and received his Master of Science from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, Master of Business Administration from Loyola University in Chicago, and his Doctorate degree from Walden University in Minnesota. Dr. Refai received his Professional Project Management (PMP) certificate from the Project Management Institute in 2005.  Dr. Refai is co-founder of Diversified Services Network, Inc. (DSN) in Naperville, Illinois. DSN, founded in 1989, provides high-quality and reliable  IT, Engineering and Management consulting services to Federal and State governments and to Fortune 500 companies. Currently, Dr. Refai is Vice President at DSN.

Chandra Prasad, President & CEO, Omega & Associates

Mr. Chandra Prasad is the President of OMEGA, which he founded in 2002.  Over the past 13 years OMEGA, based in Lisle, IL, has grown to be the largest firm in the Chicagoland area specializing in Construction Engineering. OMEGA focuses on the construction management of highways and bridges, as well as local arterial roads, for a variety of clients in Illinois.   Mr. Prasad has a Bachelors and a Masters degree in Civil Engineering and is a Bradley University alum. He sits on the Civil Engineering and Construction Advisory Board of Bradley University. Mr. Prasad is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Illinois and is affiliated with the American Council of Engr. Cos. (ACEC), American Society of Civil Engrs. (ASCE) and IL Road and Transportation Builders Association (IRTBA).

Christine Reed, Senior Vice President, Knight E/A, Inc.  

Christine Reed is a senior vice president at Knight Engineering/Architects.  Prior to this, she had a 22 year career with IDOT.  She has a vast portfolio of engineering expertise coupled with an unparalleled knowledge of Illinois’ past, present and future transportation network. As the first woman appointed Director of Highways and Chief Engineer for IDOT, she was responsible for developing, maintaining and operating the state’s multi-billion dollar highway network in a timely, efficient and economical manner.   Ms. Reed earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University and is a Registered Engineer in Illinois.

Kim Robinson, President, Frontline Public Strategies

As an award-winning public affairs practitioner, Kim Robinson has been on the front line of major public policy issues of the past 30 years.  She formerly served as Executive Director of the Illinois CDB where she directed the state’s ($3 billion) capital program for four years.  Since 2002, she has served as President of Frontline Public Strategies where she directs the firm’s association management practice and focuses on member services, public affairs and building strategic alliances.  Since 2003, she has served as Executive Director of the Illinois Construction Industry Committee, the ISPE and the Illinois Professional Land Surveyors Association.  Ms. Robinson earned a BS degree in political science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  She is a Certified Association Executive by the American Society of Association Executives.


Scott Sigman, Transport and Export Infrastructure Lead, Illinois Soybean Association

Mr. Sigman is Vice President, Transportation and Trade supporting marketing, strategy and communications firm Farmer, Lumpe + McClelland + (FLM Plus), an independent subsidiary of Land O’Lakes.  In that capacity he primarily serves the Illinois Soybean Association in a staff augmentation role, as Transport and Export Infrastructure Lead.  Scott has over 25 years of experience in global trade and transportation planning. Mr. Sigman earned his MS in Economics with a focus on Sea Use Law, Economics & Policy in England, from the University of London and was awarded his BA degree with a Double Major in Economics and International Relations from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 


Jamil Bou-Saab, Executive Vice President, Terra Engineering, Ltd.

Mr. Bou-Saab is the Executive Vice President and co-founder of TERRA Engineering, Ltd. in Chicago, Illinois. He offers over 25 years of professional experience in transportation, public works and civil engineering projects as a project engineer, project manager, and business owner. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Illinois and Wisconsin. He attended Marquette University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1984 and a Master of Science degree in construction management in 1986. He has been Principal-in-Charge of analysis, design and construction for major public and private infrastructure and transportation projects nationally and internationally. Mr. Bou-Saab received the ASCE Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award for TERRA site development and transportation projects.


David Williams, President, Williams Brothers Construction Inc.

David Williams is the President of Williams Brothers Construction Inc, a company that has over 40 years experience and and over a billion dollars worth of construction covering Illinois, Indiana and Iowa. WBCI completes projects from 1 million to over 100 million dollars on time and on budget. Williams Brothers Construction Inc boasts an impressive and diverse resume that spans over three decades. They build food markets, MRI units, industrial water treatment plants and correctional institutions to office buildings, sports arenas and schools. David earned a B.S. in Construction from Bradley University in 1984 and has 25 years professional construction experience.

Tracy Morse, President, Images, Inc.

Under Tracy’s leadership, the Images team has developed creative ways to communicate high-level, technical information to audiences in a language, tone and style that effectively bridges the gap between government agencies, corporations, the media and the general public. She and her staff of communicators, project managers, and planners, decipher technical information and make it accessible to help government agencies and corporate clients move complex projects and issues from conception to completion. High-Speed Rail, inter-modal connections, and multi-modal transportation are just a few examples of the major projects implemented with the help of Images’ expertise in the lengthy – yet necessary – public involvement process.


Nancy Kimme, Lobbyist, NJ Kimme and Company

Nancy Kimme, who worked for the Illinois Comptroller's Office, is now a lobbyist. Her firm, NJ Kimme & Company was formed February 18. By the end of March, her client list numbered 22. The diverse group includes several prominent lobbying and government consulting companies, downstate utility Ameren, and the Cable Television & Communications Association,the Illinois Hospital Association, as well as some of its members, the Illinois Casino Gaming Association, and others. 


Jon Pyatt, Chief of Staff, Representative Cheri Bustos

Jon is a native of Pinckneyville, Illinois, and graduated with a B.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1994. He later went on to earn a law degree (J.D.) and a Master’s Degree in International Affairs. While at the University of Illinois (U of I), one of Jon’s key accomplishments was working behind the scenes on the effort to bring a Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, a world-class, first-of-its-kind manufacturing hub that will bring the future of American manufacturing, to Illinois. Prior to his work for U of I, he spent six years on Capitol Hill in the office of Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23), rising to be her Deputy Chief of Staff and Floor Assistant.

Mr. Les Melhorn, Vice President, CH2M HILL

Les Melhorn has 37 years of engineering and management experience with CH2M HILL as a strategic advisor directing multi-firm, multi-contract transportation projects, design-build processes for large transportation projects, and preparing procurement documents for innovative project delivery methods, including construction manager at risk and construction manager general contractor delivery methods. His leadership roles encompass both technical and management responsibilities, and over the course of his career, he has successfully delivered products and services for major projects as a project manager, project engineer, and other roles. He is a registered PE in Idaho and California.

Lidia Pilecky, Vice President, CH2MHILL

Lidia Pilecky is a Vice President/ Senior Project Manager of CH2M HILL for the Chicago area.  Headquartered near Denver, Colo., CH2M HILL is a global leader in engineering, procurement, construction, management and operations for government, civil, industrial and energy clients. With $6.4 billion in revenue and > 23,500 employees, CH2M HILL is an industry-leading program management, construction management and design firm, as ranked by Engineering News-Record (2008). The firm's work is concentrated in the areas of energy, water, transportation, environmental, nuclear and industrial facilities. The firm has long been recognized as a most-admired company and leading employer, including being named by FORTUNE as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For (2009).

Laith AlKhafaji, Manager, CGN Global

Laith AlKhafaji is a Manager with CGN Global, where he works with fortune 100 companies in areas including organization design and effectiveness, supply chains, business process re-engineering, and knowledge management. Prior to CGN, he interned with DSN, Caterpillar, the City of Peoria, Heyl Royster, and River City Construction. Laith managed workshops on Supply Chains in Belgium and France for Caterpillar. He holds a BS in Construction Management from Bradley University (2011) and a Law Degree from Michigan State University (2014). He passed the Illinois BAR Exam immediately after graduating.


Kerrie Schattler, Professor, Department of Civil Engineering and Construction, Bradley University

Dr. Kerrie Schattler, Ph.D. is a Professor of the Department of Civil Engineering and Construction at Bradley University.  Dr. Schattler’s specific area of expertise is highway safety engineering. Over the past 18 years, she has been actively engaged in research and scholarship, having authored over 30 papers in reputable journals, such as the Journal of the Transportation Research Board, ITE Journal, and conference proceedings.  Dr. Schattler has collaborated and led research teams for projects totaling over $1.4 million sponsored by IDOT through the Illinois Center for Transportation, Peoria County Highway Department, FHWA, ITE, OSHA, Michigan DOT, AAA, and others.